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MtlBiker

Paint, Dye or Stain?

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I'm ordering some veg tan leather and will want to make some pouches which should be black when finished.  Checking the Tandy Leather (Canada) site, I see there are paint, dye and stain choices?  What are the pros/cons of one over another?

After using something to make the leather black, is that it, or does some kind of top coat / sealer need to be applied?

Thanks!

 

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There are many opinions regarding sealers. I'm in Australia, The one I use mostly is called Top Coat , a water based sealer. Another is ' Seal & Shine' , a chemical polyurethane sealer, leaves a nice shine and feel.  I prefer to seal my projects as I don't wish for any dye to come off onto clothes, like on belts . Sealers give a nice finish too  :) I use paints on carved patterns , makes flowers etc. really stand out .

HS 

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4 hours ago, Handstitched said:

There are many opinions regarding sealers. I'm in Australia, The one I use mostly is called Top Coat , a water based sealer. Another is ' Seal & Shine' , a chemical polyurethane sealer, leaves a nice shine and feel.  I prefer to seal my projects as I don't wish for any dye to come off onto clothes, like on belts . Sealers give a nice finish too  :) I use paints on carved patterns , makes flowers etc. really stand out .

HS 

Thanks very much for your comments.  I'd ordered some "Eco-Flo Satin Shene" from Tandy Leather a few days ago and I'm waiting for it to arrive.  But as far as putting die onto the leather, what are the pros/cons of using paint, dye or stain?  I see that all those are available in black.  I'll be using some veg tan leather for my little project and I want the final thing to be black.

If I'm not mistaken, paint would be used to paint some parts of the leather or make a design, so it probably wouldn't be a good choice for making my black pouch.  Dye or stain might be good but I don't know what the differences are between them.  (Total beginner with leather here.)

 

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7 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

Thanks very much for your comments.  I'd ordered some "Eco-Flo Satin Shene" from Tandy Leather a few days ago and I'm waiting for it to arrive.  But as far as putting die onto the leather, what are the pros/cons of using paint, dye or stain?  I see that all those are available in black.  I'll be using some veg tan leather for my little project and I want the final thing to be black.

If I'm not mistaken, paint would be used to paint some parts of the leather or make a design, so it probably wouldn't be a good choice for making my black pouch.  Dye or stain might be good but I don't know what the differences are between them.  (Total beginner with leather here.)

 

I would use dye preferably alcohol dye but you could get away with water based like eco flo from Tandy. Then use some sort of sealer. i think i bought some satin sheen once and it made the dye come off if i recall and never touched it after that... ive finished several hand dyed projects with just fiebings Aussie leather conditioner and haven't had any troubles with dye rubbing off, plus it conditions and waterproofs the leather. so win win right :thumbsup:

Ive also heard of people using mop n glow... As they say there's more than one way to skin a cat.

At the end of the day you just have to see what works for you.

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2 minutes ago, CastleLeatherWorks said:

I would use dye preferably alcohol dye but you could get away with water based like eco flo from Tandy. Then use some sort of sealer. i think i bought some satin sheen once and it made the dye come off if i recall and never touched it after that... ive finished several hand dyed projects with just fiebings Aussie leather conditioner and haven't had any troubles with dye rubbing off, plus it conditions and waterproofs the leather. so win win right :thumbsup:

Ive also heard of people using mop n glow... As they say there's more than one way to skin a cat.

At the end of the day you just have to see what works for you.

Mop n Glow????  I guess you're not kidding.

 I wanted to buy the Fiebing's leather dye, but Tandy Leather (Canada) is completely sold out (both regular and pro versions).  That's why I ordered the Eco-Flo instead.  It's not easy to know what to buy (or even what you'll need) when you're a total beginner with leather like I am.

I wouldn't have imagined that the Fiebing's Aussie Leather Conditioner could be used to top coat or seal the leather.  I'll put some on my next order to try.

Thanks very much for your comments!

 

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5 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

I wanted to buy the Fiebing's leather dye, but Tandy Leather (Canada) is completely sold out (both regular and pro versions).  

 

 

    Call your local store for Fiebing's  dies (pro or regular) and order them over the phone . I am also sure they might be able to answer some of your questions too

Edited by LeatherLegion
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The dyes I use are also water based, but with a little bit of alcohol to aide drying. They soak in into the leather better.  I have tried oil based dyes in the past, but I had no end of trouble with dyes rubbing off, hence  the water based dye  + top coat sealer.  Good comment about the ' mop & glow . Since ' neat lac' is not available where I am, and it variants are costly to transport ( can't be transported by air) , I used a water based varnish  from my local hardware shop , only  on particular projects , so far so good, dries quick,  flexible, no rub off. 

Like Castle Leather Work  said, you may have to see what works, experiment a little on some scraps. 

HS

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for black i use vinegaroon, it is basically iron dissolved in vinegar and reacts with the tannins in the leather to change the color to black. Can be made at home for cheap. Throw a steel wool pad in a jar of vinegar for a few days.  it wont leach out like some dyes if you leather gets wet.

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10 hours ago, LeatherLegion said:

    Call your local store for Fiebing's  dies (pro or regular) and order them over the phone . I am also sure they might be able to answer some of your questions too

My local store?  As far as I can tell, there is no local store that carries this product.  I've been to the only two local places that sell leather and neither has tools nor dyes, etc.  And the online sources I've checked (OA Leather, Tandy) don't have it.  And other online sources I checked don't have the Pro version.   I just got a tip via PM about a place somewhere in Canada that very likely has it.

In any case, I've got that stuff I ordered from Tandy (Eco-Flo) arriving today.  And as a total beginner, at least it will help me get started.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Handstitched said:

The dyes I use are also water based, but with a little bit of alcohol to aide drying. They soak in into the leather better.  I have tried oil based dyes in the past, but I had no end of trouble with dyes rubbing off, hence  the water based dye  + top coat sealer.  Good comment about the ' mop & glow . Since ' neat lac' is not available where I am, and it variants are costly to transport ( can't be transported by air) , I used a water based varnish  from my local hardware shop , only  on particular projects , so far so good, dries quick,  flexible, no rub off. 

Like Castle Leather Work  said, you may have to see what works, experiment a little on some scraps. 

HS

The problem with experimenting as a total novice, is that it's hard to tell if the results are good or not.  That's why I was asking here... if I can try proven products first, it would give me something to compare with later if/when I experiment with other things. 

I had no idea that folks also use products that they buy in hardware stores which are not designed for leather.  Interesting!  I will certainly do my share of experimenting, once I get a little more experience under my belt.

Are "oil based dyes" what you get with Fiebling's Pro dyes?

Cheers!
 

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8 minutes ago, chuck123wapati said:

for black i use vinegaroon, it is basically iron dissolved in vinegar and reacts with the tannins in the leather to change the color to black. Can be made at home for cheap. Throw a steel wool pad in a jar of vinegar for a few days.  it wont leach out like some dyes if you leather gets wet.

Wow!  What an interesting idea!  Thanks for mentioning that.  What do you use as a top coat/sealer?

But "Vinegaroon"????  Wikipedia says, "Vinegaroons have no venom glands, but they have glands near the rear of their abdomen that can spray a combination of acetic acid and caprylic acid when they ..."

 

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27 minutes ago, MtlBiker said:

Wow!  What an interesting idea!  Thanks for mentioning that.  What do you use as a top coat/sealer?

But "Vinegaroon"????  Wikipedia says, "Vinegaroons have no venom glands, but they have glands near the rear of their abdomen that can spray a combination of acetic acid and caprylic acid when they ..."

 

LOL yea those are creepy critters for sure! but the roon has been around for hundreds of years and is also used for staining wood.

Depends on the purpose of the item, i make a lot of outdoor type leather goods, holsters and knife sheathes,  so i usually use a little neat's-foot oil and then good waterproofing for boots and shoes like fiebings golden mink oil, for wallets, belts and such i use super sheen or the 50/50 mop n glo mix is about the same imo. You also use the sheens for a resist when you are using multiple colors of dyes.

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6 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

My local store? 

 

 

   Sorry , I was a bit vague. Call your local Tandy store. I assume since the Montreal location is closed , Markham or Mississauga location is who you want to call for any alcohol based dies , finishes or contact cements. 

Edited by LeatherLegion

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1 hour ago, LeatherLegion said:

   Sorry , I was a bit vague. Call your local Tandy store. I assume since the Montreal location is closed , Markham or Mississauga location is who you want to call for any alcohol based dies , finishes or contact cements. 

No problem, but we're going around in circles here.  In the message you replied to, I said that Tandy Leather is sold out of Fiebing's Dye (regular or pro).  And now you're suggesting I call Tandy Leather.  :) :)

I guess you're suggesting that one of the (few) remaining Tandy stores might have some dye in stock even though their website says it's all sold out.  I do have some dye coming from Tandy and as a beginner it'll probably get me going.  I'm still waiting for my first order from Tandy to arrive (6 days and counting since it shipped from Toronto to Montreal) and if a store had a bottle left, it would probably cost me more for shipping than the cost of the dye.  So I'll wait until I need something else and check again.  Someone else suggested there's a leather store in Ottawa that might have it, and their website suggests they do.  I might order from there together with some other stuff.  But the photo of the pro dye they show looks very different than the one on the Tandy site and the Tandy site says something about it being new and improved.  Shrug.  One might really be new and improved (and sold out) while the other is old unimproved stock.  I'm just going to wait at the moment.

Thanks for your suggestions though.

 

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Just because Tandy's WEBSITE says they are out, does not mean a local store doesn't have a bottle sitting on the shelf. 

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On 5/4/2021 at 9:36 AM, MtlBiker said:

I'm ordering some veg tan leather and will want to make some pouches which should be black when finished.  Checking the Tandy Leather (Canada) site, I see there are paint, dye and stain choices?  What are the pros/cons of one over another?

After using something to make the leather black, is that it, or does some kind of top coat / sealer need to be applied?

Thanks!

 

Fiebings black oil dye.

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18 hours ago, MtlBiker said:

The problem with experimenting as a total novice, is that it's hard to tell if the results are good or not.

Oops, yeh, you're right, I was just going by my own early experiences . A lot of what I learnt when I first started was ' trial & error' . Theres no leather shops near me ,was one 3hrs away ( now closed)  I had no internet, just yellow pages,  so I just had to wing it.

@chuck123wapati doesn't vinegroon go on fish 'n' chips ? Just kidding . 

Yes , that process does work, apart from the smell of vinegar , but that goes away .  I still want to experiment with natural colours from fruits  & spices one day like  turmeric , mulberries, black berries,  etc.

HS

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4 hours ago, Handstitched said:

Oops, yeh, you're right, I was just going by my own early experiences . A lot of what I learnt when I first started was ' trial & error' . Theres no leather shops near me ,was one 3hrs away ( now closed)  I had no internet, just yellow pages,  so I just had to wing it.

@chuck123wapati doesn't vinegroon go on fish 'n' chips ? Just kidding . 

Yes , that process does work, apart from the smell of vinegar , but that goes away .  I still want to experiment with natural colours from fruits  & spices one day like  turmeric , mulberries, black berries,  etc.

HS

life is an experiment go for it!!!!  But don't try vinegaroon on fish and chips lol! The roon has never let me down is cheap and easy to make i also will be trying some natural dyes, spring is finally here and so  some spring flowers will be ready soon.

 

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13 hours ago, sbrownn said:

Why don't you just order some black leather?

Because I've been told that for wet moulding (what I want to do) only natural untreated veg tan leather works.

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12 hours ago, tsunkasapa said:

Just because Tandy's WEBSITE says they are out, does not mean a local store doesn't have a bottle sitting on the shelf. 

From what I can tell, there are only 3 Tandy stores left in Canada.  And while I agree that it's possible one of them does have a bottle of the dye in stock, the shipping would certainly cost more than the dye itself.  I do have some dye (not the best kind I'm told) and I will try to get the Fiebing's when I next need to order something so that the shipping costs are spread over several items.  And it's possible that I've found an online place in Ottawa which may have the dye in stock (at least their website says they do).

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1 hour ago, MtlBiker said:

Because I've been told that for wet moulding (what I want to do) only natural untreated veg tan leather works.

I've been wet molding colored bridle leather for years.  It works just fine.

I have also molded harness leather and latigo by putting it in the microwave for 15 seconds before molding.  The heat softens up the oils and waxes for molding and when they cool they stiffen and help the leather hold its shape.

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